Opinion: Police bureau isn’t our only tool to fix hate-filled streets

Willamette Week coverage of August 22nd events.

The events of this past weekend require me to make a point I’ve long understood about streets: safety is as much about culture as it is about concrete. If Portland truly stands for streets where everyone can feel safe and welcome, we must do more to defend them against dangerous people — whether the weapon is a multi-ton steel vehicle or a fist, or a gun.

Allowing violent extremists hell-bent on fighting and hurting others to roam our streets without any resistance is no different than allowing an 80 mph speed limit on a wide arterial adjacent to homes, parks and schools. Armed individuals who use neighborhood streets as a backdrop for their pointless violent games are the human equivalent of huge SUVs and trucks driven by distracted drivers or illegal street racers that pose an imminent threat to our city.

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Talking about car violence on XRAY in the Morning

Listen to the interview below.

This morning I was on the XRAY in the Morning radio show and had a nice conversation with host DJ Ambush. He asked how I’m making sense of the intentional vehicular assault in Portland on January 25th and what we should do in response. I expected it would be a short exchange, but was pleasantly surprised that it went longer. DJ Ambush asked thoughtful questions and wanted to delve into the issue.

We talked for over 20 minutes. There is a short section in the middle where we talked about Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s new bike-related bills, but most of the conversation was about traffic violence, our dangerous car culture, and what we can do about.

You can check out the interview below:

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Video shows another intentional vehicular assault on a bicycle rider

Still from security video. Watch it below.

Someone used their pickup truck as a weapon to assault a bike rider in Portland on Friday. The altercation followed an interaction between the two road users and might have been fueled by road rage. It’s still unclear what – if anything – might have provoked the assault.

Footage shared on Reddit less than an hour ago shows the driver of a small red pick-up follow a bike rider into a parking lot at Southeast 3rd and Taylor. The driver then intentionally rams their truck into the man before reversing and driving away. (It’s a felony crime in Oregon to hit someone with your vehicle and not stop to investigate it.)

The video (below) from a nearby business surveillance camera was uploaded to YouTube by a user named Aaron Sturgill who claims to be friends with the victim.

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